October 8th, 2002

shilagh

on cruelty to animals

So Ajay, like most dogs, really loves to chase after squirrels and rabbits. He's faster than a squirrel, but I don't usually worry about this because the squirrel will always head for the nearest tree and zip up it long before Ajay gets anywhere near. So I always just let him run after them; he really enjoys the chase and I get a kick out of watching the squirrels crap their pants as they RUN away from this huge canine mouth full of teeth approaching rapidly from behind.

Except a couple days ago, Ajay had a better head start than usual, and the squirrel was exceedingly dumb--instead of zipping straight UP the tree, it ran AROUND the tree in an attempt to get the tree between it and its pursuer. But Ajay knows this game; he and I chase each other around the dining room table all the time.

So it was only a matter of seconds before Ajay had the thing in his jaws, doing that ragdoll-shake thing that dogs instinctively do to snap the neck of their prey. And the squirrel was screaming in fear/pain/anger, and I was yelling in horror at my dog to get off the poor animal. Eventually he did obey and let go of it and I was relieved to see it scamper up the tree, although there wasn't much coordination in its hind legs. I didn't see any blood, so it seems like Ajay neither broke through the rodent's skin nor did the rodent get its teeth or claws in to my dog.

We continued our walk, now with Ajay all jazzed up and misbehaving, but I felt really funny. I was so sure he'd never be able to catch any little creatures, that I never thought about how bad I'd feel if he actually did. So I've vowed not to let him chase after animals anymore. Or at least not when he's got such a good head start.

I'm sorry, little squirrel.

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